Why you should consider using Westside Research Inc. for your soft-sided cargo management needs.
Frost & Sullivan Report 10-2008: Soaring fuel prices are a main concern for manufacturers and distributors across the aftermarket. This especially affects marketers of vehicle accessories, which are usually are discretionary purchases that are now in decline because vehicle owners have to put more money in the tank. However, there is at least one product line that stands to benefit from high gas prices – cargo management. High gas prices are causing many people to ditch their big SUVs and pickups for compact cars. Then they see that there is no room for camping gear, soccer equipment, or other personal effects they travel with. Smaller vehicle sizes will make hitch- and roof-mounted cargo boxes, bike racks and other storage accessories popular, because people still want that extra space they gave up to reduce their fuel consumption. Frost & Sullivan expects aftermarket sales of cargo management accessories – which include receiver hitches, roof racks, cargo trays and boxes, soft-sided carriers, as well as carrier attachments for bicycles, skis, snowboards, canoes and kayaks – to rise by as much as 7.1 percent annually in the coming years. In contrast, demand for commercial truck and van racks for carrying ladders, tools, and other supplies will grow by as little as 0.4 percent annually because of weakening economic conditions and truck sales.
Revenue growth for roof-mounted cargo management accessories will outpace growth for hitch-mounted accessories. Outdoor enthusiasts typically prefer roof-mounted attachments for carrying their sporting goods, while families are more likely to carry their belongings with a receiver hitch. About 10 percent of new vehicles are factory, port or dealer-equipped with a roof rack, leaving plenty of opportunity for the aftermarket to outfit them. However, hitch-mounted accessories offer several key advantages over roof-mounted accessories. They are closer to the ground, which makes them more convenient in loading and unloading. They do not reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency as much as roof-mounted parts, since the carrier receives less wind resistance at the rear of the vehicle. Also, hitch-mounted accessories are interchangeable as receiver hitches are a universal fit across vehicle makes and models. The main disadvantages for hitch-mounted accessories are the possibility of damage from the road debris coming off of the rear tires and the restricted access to the vehicle's trunk or hatchback area. Frost & Sullivan's latest research shows that hitch-mounted sales will be strongest in bike racks and cargo trays, while roof-mounted accessories will be strongest in cargo boxes, ski and snowboard racks, canoe and kayak racks and soft-sided carriers. Meanwhile, sales of commercial truck and van racks will retain strength in non-aftermarket channels, selling directly to fleets, fleet outfitters, and contractor supply houses, which are driven primarily by capital spending rather than consumer spending. Marketers of cargo management accessories need to make their products more affordable and widely available to consumers. Suppliers rely heavily on high-end specialty outdoor stores, staffed by employees who are well trained in the products and provide a higher level of service. Even though they receive substantially more consumer traffic, large sporting goods stores and mass merchant chains' sales often fail to meet expectations because the merchandise is typically not displayed well and employees lack the specialized product knowledge to help vehicle owners buy the correct products. As the price of gas continues to rise and more people trade in SUVs for cars, many will look to cargo management in order to store all the gear they are used to traveling with when they drove around in their big storage-friendly SUVs. With this important information in mind, consider this: Westside Research Inc. is responsible for more prominent soft-sided cargo management products than any other designer. This list includes the popular Rola product line, Hopkins Go Gear line, Snugtop GearMate line, Go Rhino Extreme Organizer line, Creekside Products, Turbo Travel line, and all the leading soft-sided cargo management solutions for BMW, Chrysler, GM, Land Rover, Lexus, Jaguar, and VW. For additional information, please contact Tim Dexter at 530-865-5587 or 530-330-0085